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What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Barrow AK as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Barrow AK job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Barrow AK hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Alaska school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Alaska state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Barrow AK health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Barrow AK health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Barrow AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.